Taking Care Of Your Body To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
- Seek out childbirth classes so you can feel totally prepared for labor and delivery! Stress comes a lot from the unknown. Ask questions and find ways to be prepared! There are support systems who want to see you be at your best.
- Try some light exercise to get the heart pumping and to refocus your attention onto something else Exercise is a wonderful way to relieve stress. Exercise gets those feel good hormones pumping in your body!
- Eat nutrient rich meals Your diet plays a huge role in your overall well-being. Good diet keeps you feeling full and happy. Meal planning can help you be ready for the week and lose some stress.
- Finally, dont be ashamed to ask for help You are not alone. Many women have been in similar situations. Do research and find resources made for you. You and your babys health matter!
Labor Is Freaking You Out
First, remember that every pregnant woman is nervous about delivering her baby . Watters suggests this meditation exercise to help you get in tune with your body:
Get in a comfortable position, either seated or lying down on your side. Tense one area of your body for 2-3 seconds and then let that area relax. Move from your toes up to your face, tensing and relaxing each area.
This will come in very handy when you’re in labor, because it’ll help you learn how to relax all areas of your body, conserve energy, and make the work of birthing your baby easier. The breathing exercises can also help you focus and relax. Visualizing an easy and smooth delivery can be very powerful, reassuring and relaxing when that anxiety arises.
Here are a few more calming tips to use in any situation:
Create a mantra. Mantras are simple phrases you can recite to yourself to change a limiting belief in any situation, and reduce stress. When you become overwhelmed, find a mantra that you can repeat at any time to ease anxiety, suggests Trapani. Create an encouraging statement like, “I am completely ready to take care of my baby”. Once you choose a mantra, say it to yourself silently over and over whenever anxiety pops up.
Try lavender essential oil. Keep it in your purse and put a drop on your wrist. Rub your wrists and hands together and massage the back of your neck and tops of your shoulders when you feel stressed.
Tips To Relax In Pregnancy
Youll probably have a lot on your mind during pregnancy. Coping with your symptoms and changing lifestyle, as well as everyday life, can sometimes be overwhelming.
Your mental wellbeing in pregnancy is just as important as your physical health, so try to take care of your mind as well as your body. Here are ten tips to help you relax in pregnancy:
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Symptoms Of Stress During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women experience stress at some point during pregnancy, but stress affects each woman differently. For some people, stress may present as physical symptoms such as nausea and headaches. For others, stress may present as emotional or mental symptoms. Stress itself is not a mental health disorder, but if stress persists and gets to the point of interfering with a persons life, then it may lead to a mental health condition like anxiety.
Some symptoms of stress during pregnancy include:4
- Body aches and pains, including headaches and stomachaches
- Low libido
What Are The Effects Of Untreated Anxiety On The Fetus
When thinking about management of anxiety, it is important to consider both the risks of treatment as well as the harms of untreated anxiety. Although less studied than depression, research suggests that anxiety may negatively affect both the mother and the fetus. Anxiety increases the risk for preterm birth, low birthweight, earlier gestational age, and a smaller head circumference .
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How Does Art Help With Stress
According to Verywellmind.com, just a 45 minute art session can reduce stress levels, regardless of your artistic expertise.
They further explain that when youre engaged in an activity for a while, you enter into a state of flow which some psychologists refer to as a meditative flow. This flow becomes extremely helpful to people who play an instrument, and becomes very beneficial when drawing or coloring, because it allows you to experience timelessness, feelings of serenity, and feelings of personal control over the outcome of your tasks.
Attend A Pregnancy Support Group
Pregnancy support groups can provide you with a safe space to share your thoughts with a group of women who may be having similar feelings and experiences. They also allow you to give and receive feedback and advice from others. This can help you realize that your feelings are normal and provide you with different ways of thinking about or approaching a problem. Feeling supported during pregnancy can also help you after your pregnancy is over. One study found that having more support during pregnancy was linked to lower rates of postpartum depression.10
Support groups are usually run by a mental health professional or someone who is trained to run groups. You can attend local in-person groups or support groups online. In-person groups can provide you with an opportunity to connect face-to-face, while online groups can be helpful if you dont have a lot of time, feel anxious about attending in-person, or do not have any groups in your area. Either way, finding a supportive group to speak with can be beneficial.
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The 8 Best Ways To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy
If worrying about your pregnancy seems to be taking up all of your time, dont worry, youre not alone. All moms-to-be experience stress during pregnancyits normal. But if your stress becomes constant and overwhelming, thats when its time to get some helpnot just for your own health, but for the health of your baby.When youre stressed, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that prepare your body for the physical exertion of fight or flight. Eventually, these hormones dissipate and your body returns to its normal, balanced state. Sometimes though, like when youre stressed about giving birth, your stress levels dont go down. This can lead to a decline in your health and developmental problems for the fetus such as ADHD and even impaired cognitive development. Thats why its so important that you keep chronic stressthe kind thats with you day and nightto a minimum. To help you stay happy, healthy, and stress-free during your pregnancy, weve assembled the eight best ways to relieve stress during pregnancy.
What Causes Stress During Pregnancy
Here are some common causes during pregnancy:
- You may be dealing with the discomforts of pregnancy, like morning sickness, constipation, being tired or having a backache.
- Your hormones are changing, which can cause your mood swings that make it harder to handle stress.
- You may be worried about labor and birth or how to take care of your baby.
- If you work, you may have to prepare your team for when you take maternity leave.
- You may worry about how you eat, drink and feel and how these things affect your baby.
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There Are Many Ways That Mindfulness Can Be Practiced In Our Life Such As:
- Noticing someone looking at their watch while youre talking as if to indicate that theyre running late for something, and allowing them to leave the conversation
- Being mindful about what you put into you body and only including meat that has been handled with care and preferably free-range
- Listening to someone and not interrupting them
- Giving the driver in front of you space while driving
- Allowing someone to go in front of you at the grocery store when you observe they are purchasing less than you.
Mindfulness is not something that you need to achieve, its simply a practice that you continually assess and implement. And ideally, its done in the present moment.
You Have A Million Things To Do Before Baby Comes
Meditation may help you to sort through the things that really must be done before baby, and what can wait, says Marci Howard-May, Spa Services Manager at Red Mountain Resort. By letting go of overwhelming thoughts you can focus on one item on your list at a time instead of thinking of all of them. Yes, the crib, car seat and stroller are important before junior arrives, but the entire nursery doesn’t need to be decorated to perfection right now.
Do a brief calming meditation, then pick up a pencil and write a list of what you feel are the most important tasks you need to accomplish, suggests Trapani. Remain relaxed, and create a clear strategy on how to complete the task that will give you the biggest sense of relief when completed.
“By taking those few minutes to breathe, focus and relax, you can reduce that sensation of being overwhelmed and make yourself be more productive,” says Howard-May.
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Understanding Stress During Pregnancy
Every mommas body is different. A situation that causes one mom to be mildly stressed out could lead another mom to freak out. Meanwhile, someone whos used to stressful situations might take them lightly during pregnancy and unknowingly risk the proper development of her baby.
This is why its important to understand stress. And If youre a mom carrying a precious one in your tummy, this guide will help you understand the signs and effects of stress during pregnancy, plus some tips on how to avoid and manage the stresses in your preggy journey.
Best Ways To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
Pregnancy, in most cases, is a life-changing phase of a womans life. During this phase, a woman may go through every possible emotion due to the release of different hormones.
Hence, it may be natural that she may feel overwhelmed at times. However, it is critical to take care of your physical and mental health at such disturbing times.
Researches show how moms-to-be may experience stress during their pregnancy. Though stress is normal during this phase, it becomes a concerning issue when it bothers you constantly.
At this time, you should seek support for the well being of the baby and your health. During stress, the body releases several hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
The hormones help you to fight stressful situations and combat physical exertion. Once the intense circumstance gets over, your body returns to its normal state.
However, this is not the case with pregnancy. During this phase, when you take tension related to childbirth, your stress levels do not decrease.
This can further lead to several health and development problems for your baby. The foetus may face problems like impaired cognitive development, ADHD and so on.
All such problems verify the fact that it is very crucial to maintain chronic stress during pregnancy. This guide will help you to balance your hormones and improve your well being with the following methods.
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Taking Care Of Your Mind To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
- Reach out to your doctor Your doctor is going to know your health history. Your doctor will be able to help direct you and offer appropriate resources.
- Relax whenever possible Take time to breathe. Take time to pamper yourself! Your happiness will affect your baby!
- Prioritize Consider making a list. A list can help you cross-off activities throughout the day. Start with a list of three things to do a day to keep yourself from getting stressed. Think about it, three activities for sevens days a week thats twenty-one things you accomplished in one week alone! Dont make your days too busy. Keep your days focused.
- Join groups with like-minded women A group of like-minded women can be tons of fun! Wondering what groups are for you? Think of activities that interest you or hobbies you love. Get in touch with your inner-child and remember what kinds of things really use to excite you or things you really wanted to try. Try finding an exercise group, a cooking class, a painting class, a pottery making class, or anything! Your options are endless!
Why Does Cooking Make People Happy
- brings feelings of accomplishment after a focused task
- enhances mindfulness
- can promote a sense of health and well-being
- can be therapeutic
- allows for creative expression
In other words, similar to the above-mentioned concepts, there are many reasons that cooking provides emotional benefits to a person looking for way to reduce stress. Or a way to satisfy a craving. Either one.
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Tips For How To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, it is likely that you will experience stress at some point. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help yourself better cope with stress when it does come up. Taking care of your body and mind and seeking support and education are helpful ways that you can combat the impact of stress during your pregnancy.
Here are ten tips for reducing stress during pregnancy:
Coping With Stress During Pregnancy: 10 Ways To Stay Calm
MD, MPH, FAAFP
Stress during pregnancy is common, with around 78% of pregnant women reporting low to moderate stress and 6% reporting high levels of stress.1 Pregnancy stress is a concern because it is linked to certain complications and can have negative effects on the unborn baby. Fortunately, you can take action to reduce your stress during pregnancy, which can help prevent these problems and improve your overall well-being.
BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy. BetterHelp starts at $60 per week. Complete a brief questionnaire and get matched with the right therapist for you.
Choosing Therapy partners with leading mental health companies and is compensated for referrals by BetterHelp
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Way #: Prioritize Rest Every Day
Prioritizing rest every day is hands down one of the best ways to avoid stress early during pregnancy.
I went from being a 6am-er to waking up at 7:30 and taking 1-2 naps during the day.
Everyone has different circumstances, and yet, its so important that you find a way for you to prioritize rest. Its one of the ways you can take care of yourself the most.
How To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy Through Exercise
3. Stretch when you get up or have been sitting awhile. It will relax your muscles and make you feel less tense.
4. Even if you go slow when exercising, keep going. Remember that even something as low-impact as walking or swimming helps clear your mind and strengthen your body.
5. Sign up for a prenatal yoga class. A recent study showed that taking yoga class can help lower a mom-to-bes anxiety level.
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How To Practice A Breathing Exercise In Pregnancy:
One useful way to practice breath work is to get into a comfortable sitting or lying position and closing your eyes. Take notice of your breath through your nose. Focus on the air coming in and out of your nose. You may focus on taking long deep inhalations and long slow exhalations until you feel better and less anxiety.
What Else Helps Anxiety During Pregnancy
- Engage in regular physical activity. In general, it is safe to engage in physical activity during pregnancy. However, if you are at risk for preterm labor or have pregnancy complications, consult with your doctor first.
- Ensure adequate sleep. Whether its a calming bedtime routine, pregnancy pillow, or a few nights in a bed away from your snoring partner, now is the time to learn what works for your sleep.
- Practice mindfulness.Research shows that mindfulness may reduce worries about labor, and it may even prevent postpartum depression.
- Journaling. Writing about your worries may help you brainstorm potential solutions, and it allows you to reflect on your concerns.
- Schedule worry time. We often worry because we do not want to forget something. Setting aside 30 minutes toward the end of the day provides you with a time to worry productively, but it frees you from holding onto your worries the rest of the day .
- Yoga, massage, meditation, and acupuncture. Finding relaxation techniques that work for you may take some experimentation but their benefits will continue even after the baby arrives.
About the Author
Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH, Contributor
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Nhs Therapy And Counselling Services
If you’re feeling sad and it’s not improving, a talking therapy might help.
There are different types of talking therapies for mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder .
A GP can refer you for talking treatment, or you can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service without going to a GP. If you refer yourself, it’s a good idea to talk to a midwife or GP as well about how you’re feeling.
Attend A Labor And Delivery Or Newborn Preparation Class
For some women, stress during pregnancy is caused by the unknowns of the future. Pregnant women may feel overwhelmed thinking about labor and delivery or caring for a newborn. To help ease your concerns, consider attending a class that is designed to help you prepare for birth or motherhood. Women who attend birthing classes report feeling more positive and confident about labor and delivery.16
Many hospitals, birthing centers, and local midwives and doulas host classes for this purpose. If there are no classes in your area, you may be able to find one online. Attending one of these classes will give you an opportunity to learn more about what to expect and answer any questions that you may have. This can help you feel more certain about the future and confident moving forward in your pregnancy.
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